KK's visit

In 2006, Krishna Kumar Shah, or K.K. for short, was invited by Durgamayi Ma to visit the Ashram Brindavon in Ulm and lived here with Ma’s chela for four weeks. K.K. is one of Sri Neem Karoli Baba’s eldest devotees. He met Maharajji, our Satguru, for the first time at the age of five.

A slightly elder cousin had taken him to the house of another family where a Baba, a saint, was staying, to receive His darshan and, above all, the sweet prasad from His hands. At the end of the darshan, Baba asked where his parent’s house was. A little later Maharajji also came to K.K.’s family and blessed them with His presence. From then on K.K. dedicated his entire life to his Guru Sri Neem Karoli Baba.

Since 1973, when they had spent time together in India at Maharajji’s feet, Ma and Vishnu Digambar – Ma’s spiritual companion and husband – have been deeply connected to K.K. This visit had been planned for a long time. In February 2006 all obstacles had finally been cleared and the long-hoped for visit came true. K.K. wrote from India: “My greatest wish is that we, Baba’s children, are all united under His divine umbrella.“

In the ashram, everything was lovingly prepared for K.K.’s arrival. Vishnu Digambar, his elder son Bajarangi and Laxman, a long-time disciple of Ma, picked him up at Frankfurt airport on 15 February. At Ma’s request, Kamallata had met K.K. at his home in Nainital in India and accompanied him to Germany. At the end of this long journey, having finally arrived in the Ashram, K.K. stood in the entrance hall for a while, overwhelmed like a child. We shared a moment of deep silence when he bowed before the puja with the pictures of his beloved Maharajji and Ma.

It was Ma’s great wish that a small diary be kept to preserve the precious moments of K.K.‘s visit. Reading these entries everything comes alive again as if it happened yesterday:

On the evening of the second day, after K.K. had recovered from the long and tiring journey, Vishnu Digambar takes him down to the temple where he is welcomed wholeheartedly with a mala in Ma’s name. Vishnu Digambar now comes to the ashram almost every evening to visit K.K. They go back to their time with Baba and exchange memories and stories about Maharajji.

K.K. loves the little Baba Kutir and would like to have an aarti there. This wish is gladly fulfilled. Vishnu Digambar performs a puja in front of the large picture of Baba and waves the aarti light. Then they sing one of the old kirtans that Ma and Vishnu Digambar brought with them from India - Neem Karoli Maharaj, Jaya Satyaguru Bhagavan. K.K. listens intently and says: “It’s like coming home - I can feel Maharajji here”.

We spend lots of time singing kirtan with K.K. and everything in the ashram slows down a little, takes on a more Indian pace. K.K. keeps saying how he can feel Ma’s selflessness and love for her spiritual children and how much Ma takes care of us all.
In the afternoon, we accompany K.K. on a visit to Vishnu Digambar in his practice for naturopathy and yoga – the Kashi Yoga Center as it is called today. When K.K. sees the puja with the large picture of Baba and the kneeling Hanuman he exclaims with great joy: “Maharajji is everywhere! I can feel Him here as well”.

One week after K.K.‘s arrival Ma comes to the ashram accompanied by Vishnu Digambar. This is the first time that Ma meets K.K. “This is a very, very, very special moment” are Ma’s words during this first meeting as she shares this precious moment with all of us and puts into words how immeasurably Maharajji’s, Baba’s, love permeates us all.

When Ma says goodbye later that evening K.K. has tears in his eyes and just sits in silence for a while. The next day he says that he was so deeply touched by the meeting - the darshan - with Ma that he wants to share this overwhelming feeling, this presence of Maharajji that he felt during the darshan, with everyone.

In Ma’s Darshan via telephone early next morning Ma speaks about this very special meeting with K.K. giving us a higher view of him as the manifestation of a perfect devotee: “a true devotee is somebody who always and under all circumstances listens to his heart, who – even if he wanted to act differently – can’t do otherwise”.

The following weekend, we celebrate Shivaratri with K.K. in Ma‘s presence, a very deep and heartfelt celebration. Ma reads the verses of the last chapter of the Ashtavakra Gita „I am Shiva“ to us and also reads them in English for K.K. When it starts to snow heavily that evening K.K. says: “This is Shivratri complete! In India we believe that it is very auspicious when it is snowing after Shivratri because snowfall shows: it is really the abode of Lord Shiva!“ Many of the female chela are wearing an Indian sari for the festivities. K.K. is delighted and wishes to have a photo taken with them.

During the next darshan with Ma K.K. speaks to Ma and Vishnu Digambar about traveling with Baba and how much he would like to visit the two other ashram with Ma – Ayodhya in Berlin and Kainchi in Cologne. As the master cannot do otherwise than immediately fulfill a wish that comes straight from the heart, the trip is organized for the very next morning. Many students gather in both the ashram in joyous anticipation of K.K.‘s visit and the unexpected darshan with Ma. On the trip back, Ma’s bus is caught in a strong snow storm. Back in Brindavon K.K. gets out of the bus at 5 a.m. after a twelve-hour ride and says with sparkling eyes: “I have to tell you, it was just wonderful!”

One afternoon, Ma comes to the ashram with Vishnu Digambar unexpectedly visiting K.K. in his room. This encounter touches a side of K.K. that makes him glow and overflow with happiness: “Such a joy to see Ma and Vishnu Digambar! She gave me tea, let me drink out of her cup – tears of joy. She invited me to come back to this ashram any time!”

The following day, Ma begins the MorningDarshan with the words: “You have to remember this day… This morning, your MA is not in the mood for official greetings. This may have something to do with the fact that someone has finally recognised me. Who could it possibly be? K.K. of course, he feels his Baba in this MA!”

This year, we celebrate Ma’s birthday in a divine way and the splendor of the celebration envelops us all. A real highlight is the performance of the Hanuman story from the Ramayana, wonderfully staged by the chela of the Durga Ensemble. Ma is thrilled and asks us the next day about what had touched us the most.  K.K. tells us that he was so immersed and absorbed in the story that his mind stopped working.

Following a Darshan, some chela do an interview with K.K. in the presence of Ma, Vishnu Digambar is also present. K.K. is so fulfilled by the encounter with Ma that it just flows out of him: How blessed and fortunate we are to be able to live in Ma’s ashram - in the presence of Maharajji and with the motherly teachings of Ma, who - and K.K. clearly feels this - can really lead people to God. K.K. reminds us how many people there are in Germany alone, and of all of them, it is we who have found our way into the ashram - an immeasurable blessing for us all!

During the four weeks of his visit, K.K. told us many stories about his life with Baba. We sang the Hanuman Chalisa and kirtan with him and the satsang and celebrated aarti together every day. He patiently answered all our questions – it was an unbelievably rich and fulfilling time. His natural way of being in Ma’s presence and his intimate interaction with a living master gave us a much greater perspective on Ma: In the interview K.K. said, for example, “Take the case of Maharajji, He only needed a blanket and a dhoti. Sometimes He never took a meal the whole day, but people would come and they would ask so many questions. So the same is here, She is not doing anything for Herself, but when I saw so many people here, it was unbelievable for me because the greatest service, what I feel, is to bring human beings to God because the ultimate aim of this life is to reach the Ultimate Truth. So an ordinary person cannot do this!”

On March 16, we had to say good-bye to K.K. In her morning darshan, Ma expressed our sorrow about his return to India and reminded us that this farewell, like every farewell, is only of transient nature – as everything is only of transient nature. Ma asks us to take K.K. deep into our hearts - and also all the things he spoke about so openly in the interview, what he experienced, saw and felt.

Sri Sri Sri 1008 Sri Baba Neem Karoli Santa Maharaj ki Jai!

Sri Gurumata Sri Ma Durgamayi ki Jai!